See Krishna’s reciprocation more in spiritual absorption than in material protection

While practicing bhakti, suppose we face problems and pray to Krishna for help. If we don’t get the sought protection, we may doubt, “Why is Krishna not reciprocating with me?” 

To address this question, we need to first understand what Krishna’s reciprocation means. Bhakti centers on forming a relationship with Krishna, and like any other relationship, clarification of expectation is essential for the relationship to be steady and strong. 

We often expect Krishna to protect us at a material level from various problems – and in such protection, we see Krishna’s reciprocation. And an oft-quoted verse from the Bhagavad-gita (09.31) suggests this. Or rather, a part of a verse is oft-quoted to support this idea: “O Arjuna, declare that my devotee shall never perish.” This verse can be deeply reassuring and encouraging, and Krishna does protect us many times during our material distresses. 

Yet to better understand this verse’s import, let’s look at its context. The first half of the verse declares that the devoted soon become virtuous and thereby attain lasting peace. And the previous verse declares that even if the devoted succumb to misdeeds, they are still to be considered saintly, for their determination is rightly directed. These two verses indicate that Krishna’s stress is on protecting our consciousness, not on protecting us from worldly difficulties. And that protection is best offered not just by immunizing us from temptation but also by inspiring us towards absorption in our Lord’s all-attractiveness. 

Ultimately, old age, disease and death are inevitable in material existence, but if we can become absorbed in Krishna, then we can tolerate and transcend the emotional trauma associated with those life-phases. 

Therefore, Krishna’s ultimate protection is in revealing his attractiveness and granting us absorption in him. With this vision, we can see him reciprocating with us even amidst distresses provided we just focus on practicing bhakti-yoga and gain absorption therein. 


Think it over:

  • How do we often expect Krishna’s reciprocation?
  • What does the proclamation of Gita 09.31 mean in context?
  • How can we see Krishna’s reciprocation even amidst distress? 



09.31 He quickly becomes righteous and attains lasting peace. O son of Kunti, declare it boldly that My devotee never perishes.

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